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Just a question
at 12:40 23 Jun 2021

Just a question for those in the know.

I have never been a season ticket holder because of the outlay financially but I have (until Covid) always been a membership card holder. Does anyone know if the club intend to restart membership this close season in readiness for the next? Despite my underlying pessimism for next season I am still hoping to go to some games - mostly away because of my location - with a few home games (assuming of course there are no restrictions - which no one knows whether it will be the case or not).
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My take on the end of the season.
at 19:05 23 May 2021

This is just a personal opinion and feeling. I do not expect people to agree or anything it is just a point of view.

In all my years as a Saints fan I cannot think of one where I have just wanted it to end as much as this one.

You may ask, how come, because I saw our relegation to the Championship and League One. I went through the Branfoot era and I was bored silly watching Puel;s team.

So why does this season feel so much worse? Was it the false dawn in the autumn and the belief and hope that finally we were on to better things followed by the collapse?

I am not sure I can sum it up eloquently enough, but I think it is the feeling that I don't see much hope in this set of players or the manager. I so much wanted Ralph to do well, I so much willed the players to find deep in them that passion to fight for every point and performance and yet for all for a few fleeting moments it was not there.

I think I am a realistic supporter as I believe most Saints fans are and we really are not that demanding. Even in those heady days in the autumn I did not believe for a minute that we would win the league or even finish top 6 (in fact I joked at the time that we need to be careful we do not do a Bournemouth). You hope for a good cup run but you know that it often does not happen (but having got to a semi we put in a half hearted performance). But what has often defined my team and club is it's will power to battle against the odds. For the most part this season I have not seen it. Yes, we got some good results such as Liverpool at home and Arsenal in the cup but it is about the season and for much of this season the team and management has been found wanting.

As bad as we are in defence we are as poor at finishing up front. Everyone knows what to expect. We run around and look good for 45 minutes, fail to capitalise and then get beaten. The manager's team selections are often bewildering and his substitutions at times even more so. He seems indecisive and that is highlighted in his goalkeeping selection. Our much lauded academy has not produced anything of note for years now and almost seems like an urban myth - look at the results and performances of our younger teams - just as awful.

What is left? Do I believe that Ralph can change it in the summer and turn it around? I really am not so sure and though I have been reluctant to say he should go, the set of results, many inexcusable, the attitude of the players etc makes me question whether he is the right man for the job. If he stays I will root for him to make a go of it and prove me wrong but right now, I won't have a problem if he goes. The problem is, can a new person do any different with the people we have at the helm because if you don't get rid of the cause then you cannot find a lasting solution.

I do often wonder how much is it down to players and how much manager. Did Ings and Bertrand failure to commit in the new year have an unsettling effect in the changing room? Why does Redmond keep getting picked when he has been with us 5 and a half years and he has fundamentally not improved? why do our players seem to have a lack of mental and physical grit when things get tough? Once we go behind you know it is unlikely that we will come back. Why is it they can seem to hit the opposing goalkeeper, post or bar but ratio of goals to chances are appalling? what is it that is missing in our coaching and training that we seem unable to do the basics.? Are the players simply not good enough or are they poorly led?

Loads of questions and I know Nick will say it is easy to rant and not offer alternatives but some of us know where the problems lye and it starts at the top.

For me, not going to games has been quite painful and I do wonder whether I would feel so down on the team if I had been able to attend as usual. The problem with watching from home is that you see every single fault and error which in a stadium you would never see. There have been things I have hated about football this year - the standard and biased officiating, the awful interpretation of VAR (not just Saints but widely), the rolling and screeching of supposedly fouled players, the increased attempts to get people sent off which are then reversed with no punishment to the cheats. It has been difficult to continue to love the game that I have loved and enjoyed for years but may be I would not have noticed so much had Saints just shown that something when it mattered and I had not been watching it at home.

Onto next season.............





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Newcastle
at 22:25 7 May 2021

What has happened to them recently? Some good results and a hell of a good win tonight which now takes them out of the equation of being at risk. Not so long ago I saw Newcastle in a couple of games and they looked dire but Bruce does seem to be able to get a fighting spirit out of his players when their backs are against the wall.
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